1.1 Personal voice reflection

The purpose of this research point was start thinking about the development of my own personal voice and the direction I’d like to take it in during Illustration 2.

Key words from the brief:

  • Reflect on your illustrations, drawings and sketchbook work (this might be work you have done previously) and identify the pieces that best reflect a personal voice.
  • Pick out the pieces you’ve most enjoyed, the ones that you feel are closest to what you’re interested in doing or reflect your interests the best.


The final part of Illustration Sketchbooks was titled Summation and included three reflective exercises that asked similar questions.

This research draws heavily on that recent work and extends it by pulling in additional individual pieces of work from the other course units and personal work.

I’ve decided to answer the question based on three criteria:

  • How
  • What
  • Why


In this section I thought about the processes and techniques that I feel comfortable with and enjoy.


Includes the genres I like working within and the subjects and themes.


Narrative illustration


Corporate communication/information

Subjects and themes


What do your choices say about your developing voice as an illustrator?

My image choices say that I’m interested in developing work that has narrative and includes storytelling; whether fiction or factual/documentary.

I’m still developing a visual language through experimentation with new media and techniques. Currently I seem to alternate between loose expressive mark making using ink pens, marker pens, paint and print techniques through to more controlled image making using line art scanned and coloured digitally.

I enjoy observational drawing of people and places and currently seem to be leaning towards reportage drawing.

How do you see yourself developing in the future?

During Illustration 2 I see myself developing creatively in the areas outlined above whilst continuing to develop visual and technical skills across a range of media/approaches.

I need to build the breadth and depth of my research, (for example being much more conscious of building a visual diary), in order to better test and develop ideas.

I want to start to combine self-directed work with client briefs as part of my OCA coursework to gain real world experience and build a stronger more credible portfolio. I see opportunities to do this but need to come up with more solid proposals before taking this forward.

What sort of projects are you interested in exploring and what skills do you need to develop?

I’m interested in projects where I can use illustration to convey messages and/or tell stories in ways that engage and communicate to an audience.

I the next 6-months the skills I will develop include:

Improving my reportage drawing:

  • To find more engaging narratives and become more articulate in describing the scenes in front of me
  • To seek out and capture interesting and challenging subjects
  • To improve my speed of drawing people and describing gesture so that narrative is strengthened

Developing my illustrative drawings:

  • Continue to experiment with new techniques and combinations of media so that I can use these to better convey message and meaning

The types of project I’d like to explore:

  • Narrative illustration in all/any of its forms; children’s books, comic strips, documentary reportgage, animation etc.
  • Collaborating with other creatives to develop cross discipline projects


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